Honda F1 website

FEBRUARY 7, 2005

An interesting thought

There are some in American racing circles who believe that the RuSport team in Champ Car racing is just one step in a plan that team owner Carl Russo to take America into Formula 1. Russo is 48 and extraordinarily wealthy thanks to the success of the Cerent Corporation which he ran after a stream of jobs in the telecommunications business in the 1980s. Cerent was taken over by Cisco in 1999 in a deal worth $7bn. In recent years he has concentrated on racing and in particular overseeing the career of AJ Allmendinger. The youngster is clearly a huge talent and the whisper in Champ Cars is that the decision to hire Justin Wilson this year was Russo's idea to measure the ablity of Allmendinger against a man who is wellknown in European racing and who would, but for bad timing, have made a decent career in F1. Wilson was driven out of F1 because of the rules which stopped him being a third driver because he had competed in more than six races in the previous two years. If Allmendinger shows himself to be appreciably quicker than Wilson, it is thought that Russo may decide to take AJ to F1 in the future.

At Sebring over the weekend Allmendinger was two-tenths faster than Wilson in the first testing of the new season.